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The Dud Avocado (1958)

par Elaine Dundy

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneMentions
1,1933312,459 (3.47)167
THE DUD AVOCADO gained instant cult status on first publication and remains a timeless portrait of a woman hellbent on living. It is, as the GUARDIAN observes, 'one of the best novels about growing up fast'. Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It's the 1950s, she's young, and she's in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man (which fizzles out when she realises he's single and wants to marry her); nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted "citizens of the world"; an entanglement with a charming psychopath; and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador. But an education like this doesn't come cheap. Will our heroine be forced back to the States to fulfill her destiny as a librarian, or can she keep up her whirlwind Parisian existence?… (plus d'informations)
Récemment ajouté parClare_L, bibliothèque privée, THBevilacqua, breic, tclitsoc, kathryndoiron, NickTaipei, mambo_taxi, Emily548
Bibliothèques historiquesErnest Hemingway
  1. 20
    Bonjour tristesse par Françoise Sagan (carlym)
    carlym: Similar theme--young girl in France becoming an adult.
  2. 10
    Paris est une fête par Ernest Hemingway (carlym)
    carlym: A Moveable Feast gives a different perspective on the Paris art/literary scene (and Hemingway mentions one of the bars Sally Jay goes to).
  3. 00
    Petit-déjeuner chez Tiffany par Truman Capote (cafepithecus)
  4. 00
    Mr Skeffington par Elizabeth von Arnim (noveltea)
    noveltea: Follow a frivolous heroine through a comic gem that proves to be anything but shallow
  5. 00
    Sex and the Single Girl par Helen Gurley Brown (cafepithecus)
  6. 00
    L'Attrape-cœurs par J. D. Salinger (cafepithecus)
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» Voir aussi les 167 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 33 (suivant | tout afficher)
> I remember all this part so very clearly. And I remember a little later wondering why things always turn out to be diametrically opposed to what you expect them to be. It’s no good even trying to predict what this opposite will be because it always fools you and turns out to be the opposite of that, if you see what I mean. If you think this is geometrically impossible all I can say is that you don’t know my life ( )
  breic | Sep 18, 2021 |
magnifique....sans effort....sur de soi.....zymotic! ( )
  mortalfool | Jul 10, 2021 |
I don't know how I feel about this book; the ending caught me unawares. 3.5*?

Quotable: "It's difficult to explain, but I just somehow feel that I never really have lived; that I never really will live--exist or whatever--in the sense that other people do. It drives me crazy. I was terribly aware of it in the Ritz bar looking around at what seemed to be real grown-up lives. I just find everybody else's life surrounded by plate glass. I mean I'd like to break through it just once and actually touch one."

"Then I began to have this nightmare. Actually I have it so often I've even given it a name. It's called the Dreaded Librarian Dream.
....Anyway, the closer I get to this girl, the older she becomes, until she turns into a middle-aged spinster librarian. Then I see that it's me. People keep coming up to her from every direction asking her for books....I'm trapped.
....It was this space kick that made me leave Jim in the first place. It's this space kick that's going to turn me into the spinster librarian if I don't stop.
....Then, from outer space, that librarian who is going to be me, who is me, always ready to pounce, is going to take over. And I'll be cooked. If I don't stop it."

"Now here's the heavy irony. So I went back to New York to become a librarian. To actually seek out this thing I've been fleeing all my life. And (here it comes): a librarian is just not that easy to become. I'd taken my lamb by the hand to the slaughter and nobody even wanted it. Apparently there's a whole system and stamping system and God knows what you have to learn before you qualify." ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
I got this gorgeous hardback Virago Modern Classics edition from a charity shop where I had to force them to accept money for it. It's a lovely book. The writing is great too, it starts as a fun caper in Paris with a wonderfully self-centred and shallow narrator, ends up going to some slightly darker places. A great, light-hearted and funny read. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Jul 12, 2020 |
It is may be indicative of health and well-being, but I found the seocnd half of the book superior to the first. I had been rather tired yesterday and surprisingly spry today.

Yes, the protagonist is catty and vain. The gradual self-awareness is earnest in its portrayal. I found the book closer to Balzac than to Helen Fielding ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 33 (suivant | tout afficher)
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Elaine Dundyauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Teachout, TerryIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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"I want you to meet Miss Gorce, she's in the embalming game."
- James Thurber (Men, Women and Dogs)
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It was a hot, peaceful, optimistic sort of day in September.
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And this was odd because two Americans re-encountering each other after a certain time in a foreign land are supposed to clamber up their nearest lampposts and wait tremblingly for it all to blow over. Especially me. I'd made a vow when I got over here never to speak to anyone I'd ever known before. Yet here we were, two Americans who hadn't really seen each other for years; here was someone from "home" who knew me when, if you like, and, instead of shambling back into the bushes like a startled rhino, I was absolutely thrilled at the whole idea.
I began floating down those Elysian Fields three inches off the ground, as easily as a Cocteau character floats through Hell.
Whereas I was hell-bent for living, she was content, at least for the time being, to leave all that to others. Just as long as she could hear all about it. She really was funny about this. Folded every which way on the floor, looking like Bambi - all eyes and legs and no chin - she would listen for ages and ages with rapt attention to absolutely any drivel that you happened to be talking. It was unbelievable
(People really do say You Americans, by the way.)
There was quite a large group around him that evening; many of the Hard Core and, to get really technical - all the Inner Hard Core.
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THE DUD AVOCADO gained instant cult status on first publication and remains a timeless portrait of a woman hellbent on living. It is, as the GUARDIAN observes, 'one of the best novels about growing up fast'. Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It's the 1950s, she's young, and she's in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man (which fizzles out when she realises he's single and wants to marry her); nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted "citizens of the world"; an entanglement with a charming psychopath; and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador. But an education like this doesn't come cheap. Will our heroine be forced back to the States to fulfill her destiny as a librarian, or can she keep up her whirlwind Parisian existence?

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